Around 250,000 people have had their genomes sequenced, and scientists expect that number to rise to one billion by 2025. Professor Steven J. Heine argues that the first thing we will do on receiving our DNA test results is to misinterpret them completely. Despite breathless (often lightly researched) media coverage about newly discovered "cancer" or "divorce" or "IQ" genes, the prospect of a DNA test forecasting how your life is going to turn out is vanishingly small.
In DNA Is Not Destiny, Heine shares his research - and his own genome sequencing results - to not only show what your genes can actually tell you about your health, intelligence, ethnic identity, and family, but also highlight the psychological biases that make us so vulnerable to the media hype. Heine's fresh, surprising conclusions about the promise, and limits, of genetic engineering and DNA testing upend conventional thinking and reveal a simple, profound truth: your genes create life - but they do not control it.
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Important Issue Badly Done
The question of just how much of one's destiny is determined by the DNA is an important issue. The results of those determinations are largely Social & Psychological- and Heine does a nice job of describing the idea of an "Essence. "
But, he shows his psychological base in his frequent misunderstanding of some subtleties of genetics and statistics. He ends not explaining but rather defending his views on several "PC" topics- race, homosexuality, GMOs. It is here he demonstrates his lack of grasp of the important points that would have been made by a geneticist or statistician, or even a biologist. This is not a small point, in fact it makes the utility of several points of his work as light weight or useless.
As a lefty-liberal but science guy I was deeply disappointed that this work did not make a good argument for his conclusions.
Skeptics Guide to Genetic Essentialist thinking
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